General information about Saudi Arabia
The official name is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Located in southwest Asia, it occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula. The area is 2240 thousand km2, the population is 23.51 million people. (2002). The official language is Arabic. The capital is the city of Riyadh (over 2.77 million people, with suburbs 4.76 million people). Public holiday – Day of the Proclamation of the Kingdom – September 23 (since 1932). The monetary unit is the Saudi rial (equal to 100 halals).
Member of OPEC (since 1960), UN (since 1971), GCC (since 1981), Arab League, etc.
Geography of Saudi Arabia
According to Allcitycodes, Saudi Arabia is located between 34° and 56° east longitude and 16° and 32° north latitude. In the east it is washed by the Persian Gulf, in the west and southwest by the Red Sea. The Red Sea is located between the coasts of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, stretched from northwest to southeast. In the northern part of the sea there is an artificial Suez Canal, connecting with the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of Aqaba (off the coast of Saudi Arabia), separated by the Sinai Peninsula. The sandy, in some places rocky shores of the Red Sea are weakly indented throughout and bordered by coral reefs with coral bays. There are few islands, but south of 17 ° north latitude they form numerous groups, one of the largest is the Farasan Islands belonging to Saudi Arabia.
Surface currents are seasonal. In the southern part of the sea, from November to March, the current is directed north-northwest along the coast of the Arabian Peninsula. To the north, this current weakens, meeting with the opposite one, which runs along the coast of Africa. From June to September, there are southern and southeastern currents in the Red Sea. The tides are mostly semi-diurnal. In the northern part of the sea, winds sometimes reach storm strength. The Persian Gulf has shallow depths (average – 42 m), the currents form a cycle counterclockwise. In the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman, the direction of the current changes seasonally: in the summer from the ocean to the Persian Gulf, in winter – vice versa.
Saudi Arabia is bordered in the north by Jordan and Iraq, in the northwest by Kuwait, Bahrain (marine border), Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The southern borders with Oman and Yemen are not defined.
More than 1/2 of the territory of Saudi Arabia in the southeast is occupied by the Rub al-Khali desert, or the Great Sandy Desert, with an area of approx. 650 thousand km2. In the north of the country is part of the Syrian Desert, and the Nefud Desert, covering an area of approx. 57 thousand km2, extends further to the south. In the center of the country there is a plateau crossed by several small rivers that dry up during the dry season. In the south-west of the country there are small mountain ranges and its highest point is Mount Jabal Sauda (3133 m). Narrow coastal plains lie along the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.
The bowels of Saudi Arabia are rich in the most important types of raw materials – oil, natural gas, iron, copper, gold and other non-ferrous metals, there are deposits of rock salt, uranium, etc. In terms of oil reserves, the country ranks first in the world – 25.2%, or 35.8 billion tons. Natural gas reserves 5400 billion m3. Minerals, except for oil and gas, are still poorly studied and are mined in extremely small quantities.
The soils in Saudi Arabia are mostly sandy and stony, gray soils are found in the northern part of Arabia, and red, red-brown soils are found in the south. The most fertile lands are located on the shores of the Red Sea.
The climate is hot, dry, mostly tropical, in the north – subtropical. Average temperatures in July are above +30°С, in January +10–20°C. Precipitation approx. 100 mm per year, in the mountains up to 400 mm. January temperature in Riyadh + 8-21°C, in Jeddah + 26-37°C. The temperature in July in Riyadh is + 26-42 ° C, and in Jeddah – + 26-37 ° C. However, in the mountains in winter there are sub-zero temperatures and snow.
There are no permanent natural reservoirs on the territory of the country, except for small pools in oases, sometimes temporary lakes form after rains. There are significant reserves of groundwater.
The flora of the inner regions is extremely poor, there are desert grasses, thorny shrubs, in fertile areas – thickets of tamarisk, acacia, in oases – date palms. The fauna is represented by antelopes, foxes, gazelles, hyenas, ostriches, panthers, wild cats, wolves, mountain goats, rabbits, and Indian badgers. Among the birds stand out bustard, dove, quail. From predatory – eagles, falcons. The sea is rich in fish.